GSU gets $110, 583 LA GEAR UP Grant

Grambling State University will again host the LA GEAR UP (Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Summer Learning Camps starting with Week I which will be held during July 10 thru 16 . Week II activities will be held from July 24 thru July 30. The focus of the LA GEAR UP camps is to help students develop and enhance academic and leadership skills needed to promote success in planning and completing their post secondary education. According to the overall program goals, “this initiative focuses on the following: 1) Provide stimulating experiences in Math, Science, Technology, and/or English/Language Arts; 2) Expand career goals and aspirations; 3) Provide information about college that includes early planning and financial support services; and 4) Combine learning with fun.”

Grambling professors, Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers and Dr. Nanthailia McJamerson serve as co-principle investigators for the camp grant which totaled $110, 583.00 for the 2011 Summer Camps.

The grant is funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents (LA SIP/LA GEAR UP) to implement the two one week camps at GSU. This is the sixth consecutive year that Jaggers and McJamerson have been funded to implement the LA GEAR UP Summer Learning Camps.

In 2005, Jaggers and McJamerson, submitted a proposal that requested funds to implement a one week LA GEAR UP Summer Learning Camp at the cost of $37,000.00. The grant was awarded and the project was a success based on the results of numerous project evaluations. Afterwards, Dr. Jaggers and Dr. McJamerson continued to submit LA GEAR UP proposals and received the grants for LA GEAR UP Summer Learning Camps at GSU:
2006-86,873.00 (2 one week camps)
2007-104,520.00 (2 one week camps)
2008-104,342,85 (2 one week camps)
2009-104,373.00 (2 one week camps)
2010-104,374.00 (2 one week camps)
2011-110.583.22. (2 one week camps

During May 5-7, 2011, students, parents, teachers and administrators from LA GEAR UP schools across Louisiana attended a statewide LA GEAR UP conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During the conference the participants had an opportunity to learn more about the camps that are offered by various universities across the State of Louisiana. As in the past years, the Grambling State University LA GEAR UP Project is designed to focus on the theme, CSI: Grambling (College Success Investigators). Using CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) projects, campers have an opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers and content area specialists to strengthen basic Math, Science, and Reading/Literacy skills. The camp activities are also designed to focus on leadership preparation, Math and Science tutorials, study skills, test-taking strategies, preparation for college life, and career opportunities in Math, Science, and Reading/Literacy Skills.

. Specifically, the key academic and enrichment activities include Explorations/classes that focus on forensic investigations while developing and enhancing basic Math, Science, and Reading/Literacy skills. Based on Boreal Laboratory Kits, the four explorations/classes follow: (1) Sherlock Bones: Identification of Skeletal Remains; (2) Theta Technologies Crime Scene II; (3) Terror from Paradise; and (4) Mystery of the Bloody Stain.

The summary activities follow for each of the four Explorations:
1) Sherlock Bones: Identification of Skeletal Remains -The lab activities involve the utilization of actual techniques used in forensics to identify and access skeletal indicators.

2) Theta Technology Crime Scene II -The activities provide opportunities for students to utilize the materials in a CSI kit to match fiber, fingerprints, analyze blood samples, and use chromatography to help solve the case that is presented in the scenario.

3) Terror from Paradise- This Exploration is designed to provide creative interactive activities and diverse resources that focus on solving a case involving terrorists transporting biological weapons to the United States.

4) Mystery of the Bloody Stain- Activities are designed to focus on strategies for performing ABO and Rh typing to determine how blood can be used in solving crimes.

Tutorials and Test Prep activities will be provided each afternoon. The campers will be involved in highly creative and interactive Math and Science tutoring sessions. These sessions will include activities that are directly connected to the specific needs of the students based on their pre-test (administered at the beginning of camp) results. Additional activities that will be provided for the campers include Leadership Preparation, Financial Aid Workshops, and the Explorer’s Club activities. Leadership Enhancement activities help the campers to identify, enhance and expand their leadership skills that serve to help promote successful leaders. These highly interactive sessions that include multimedia resources and the use of diverse role play exercises will be held each afternoon.

The Pathfinder/Financial Assistance Workshop activities will continue to be presented by the State LA GEAR UP staff, and representatives from the GSU Admissions and Financial Aid Offices. The campers will also continue to be exposed to diverse Math, Science, Reading/Literacy careers through participation in the Explorer’s Club activities. Last summer Dr. Frank G. Pogue, (President of Grambling State University) served as one of the special guest presenters during the Explorer’s Club activities.

He provided a very highly interactive presentation for the campers that they thoroughly enjoyed. Also, a Forensic Scientist from the Shreveport Crime Lab will be invited to serve as a special guest presenter (again this year) for the campers. Last year, she provided an excellent a multimedia presentation that specifically on her role as a Forensic Scientist.

During the recreational activities the campers participate in a swimming pool party at Louisiana Tech University which is another one of our LA GEAR UP partnering institutions. After the pool party they journey back to GSU for a pizza party and the “Everybody’s Birthday Party”.. The post assessments are administered on Saturday before the campers return home. The recreational activities include basketball, volleyball, and table games at selected sites on the campus of Grambling State University.

The culminating activity on Friday involves a field trip to the Crime Lab and the Biedenharn Museum which are located in Monroe, Louisiana. The Friday fieldtrip experience also includes a visit to the Natural Science Museum at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, (which is one of our LA GEAR UP partners).

The Graduation Dinner-Dance on Friday evening serves to culminate the week’s activities by highlighting and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of each camper. Each camper is given a trophy and a “Grambling Goodie Bag” which is filled with GSU paraphernalia to help serve as an additional recruitment effort.